Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

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Sid Guttridge
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:40 am

Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

Post by Sid Guttridge » Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:16 pm

I have read that when the British occupied the Faeroe Islands on 13 April 1941, there were eight Danish and Swedish merchant ships already sheltering there from the war.

Does anone know (1) their names and (2) what happened to them?

I have identified only one, the Danish Fredensbro, which was taken over by the British.

The following link shows film of some of them between 0:48 and 1:10 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0bKlXSSkLo

Many thanks,

Sid
Sid Guttridge
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:40 am

Re: Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

Post by Sid Guttridge » Tue Feb 22, 2022 1:40 pm

I am beginning to narrow it down. If my translation is correct, on 9-10 April the following Danish merchant ships were ordered to Thorshavn: Ulla, Tennessee, Kirsten Maersk, Grenaa, Amerika and Sonja Maersk.

Fredensbro was the former name of the Tennesse.

This leaves one or two unidentified Swedish ships to account for. Has anyone any ideas about these?

Many thanks.

Sid.
GeorgeT
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

Post by GeorgeT » Wed Feb 23, 2022 2:35 pm

Hello Sid!

I passed on your query to a Faroese friend. He may join this discussion later in person, but in the meantime he has emailed me the following information:

"I have all the ships on the bay of Torshavn that day - April 13 - 1940

From the Navy : HMS SUFFOLK, 55 - HMS ACASTA, H 09 - HMS ARDENT, H 41

The Danish : TENNESSEE, DFDS (11 67 543) - AMERIKA, ØK (11 67 544) - KIRSTEN MÆRSK, AP Møller (11 67 538) - SONJA MÆRSK, AP Møller (11 67 534) - ULLA, J Lauritzen (11 67 574) - GRENAA, A/S "Hetland" (11 67 582)

The Swedish : VASAHOLM, Sweden-America (53 79 743) - BLANKAHOLM, Sweden-America (30 07 642) - PEGASUS, Sweden-Eastasiatic (30 06 361)

IMO numbers in brackets.

All ships were ordered to Skálafjørður the same day by the Navy."

George Tulloch
Sid Guttridge
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:40 am

Re: Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

Post by Sid Guttridge » Thu Feb 24, 2022 11:23 am

Hi George T,

Many thanks.

I see that another Danish ship, the Sildberin (spelling?), may have arrived a little later. Can your friend confirm her as well?

I was looking through some Britush documents on line and it would appear that over 1941-43 (and perhaps earlier and later) Torshavn was used by the British as an examination port for Swedish merchant ships in and out of the Baltic. For example, by my calculation, at least 88 Swedish vessels called there over June 1942-June 1943.

Cheers,

Sid.
GeorgeT
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

Post by GeorgeT » Fri Feb 25, 2022 9:57 am

My friend confirms the spelling Sildberin and says she was under the Faroese flag from 1939 to 1942. During that period she sailed to the UK with fish.

As regards the 88 calls by Swedish vessels that you mention, he notes that there were also Finnish-flag vessels. He has found the following:
Finnish: Carolina Thordén, Josefina Thordén, Dagmar, Modesta, Fenix;
Swedish: Drotningholm.

He's also supplied some photos. If you would like to send me a personal message with your email, I'll pass them on to you.
Sid Guttridge
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:40 am

Re: Fate of Danish and Swedish merchant ships at Torshavn, Faeroe Islands, 13 April 1940?

Post by Sid Guttridge » Sat Mar 12, 2022 1:10 pm

Hi GeorgeT,

Many thanks. I will contact you by message as soon as I work out how to.

Cheers,

Sid.
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